Ahead of two crucial World Cup qualifying games, the United States men's soccer team received good news Monday when striker Jozy Altidore gained medical clearance to return to practice. Altidore missed a game last weekend with his English club side, Sunderland, due to a right hamstring injury. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he hopes Altidore will be able to suit up for the U.S. at Costa Rica on Friday, then against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 10. Altidore is a key cog for a U.S. squad that leads the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. His current run of scoring in five consecutive games with the national team is a U.S. record, and he recorded a hat trick at Bosnia-Herzegovina in his last international game, Aug. 14. When the U.S. played Costa Rica on March 22 in Commerce City, Colo., the home team earned a 1-0 win in blizzard-like conditions. With a win at San Jose, Costa Rica, and a combination of other favorable results Friday, the U.S. could clinch a spot in the World Cup. The U.S. team has a 12-game winning streak, a national record and the longest current run of victories in the world.
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- Jozy Altidore